My "civil liberties" are constantly invaded by people whose life choices insult or offend me. Do you wear cologne? I will almost asphyxiate because of the scent, needing to use my asthma inhaler repeatedly, and I will almost certainly get a migraine. Do you smoke? Do you have children with boundary issues? Do you fall asleep easily? Do you drool? Do you snore? Are you tall? Do you recline your seat? Do you use your computer? Do you listen to media too loudly with earphones? Do you sigh a lot? Are you demanding? Do you have to use the restroom often? Do you keep the airplane window open, blinding your neighbors on daytime flights? Do you take your shoes off and assault people with the stench of your feet? Do you bring too much carry on luggage and slam luggage belonging to other people around in order to fit your precious cargo in...or is it really heavy? Are you a chauvinist pig? Do you hate gay people? Do you get motion sickness? There's a number of easily remedied annoyances on that list above, but no compensation is requested or delivered to people bothered by any of those things. And that's what I'm saying. Airplanes are comfortable FOR NO ONE, and I will cheer the day that the pressure is removed from fat people to fix that enduring reality.
Here's the e-mail I sent Delta. I encourage fatties worldwide to start sending complaint stories (and posting them on the internet!) about every possible inconvenience levied at them while flying the "friendly" skies. Enough is enough.
To Whom it May Concern:
I traveled with Delta Airlines recently, per a suggestion from a retired Delta pilot and his spouse who is currently a flight attendant. I had flown with Delta before and was inspired to fly again because of this recommendation and the outstanding price provided. The first half of my journey was without a single problem. However, the first leg of the second half of my trip left much to be desired.
I boarded flight 1570 on Tuesday February 19, 2008, leaving out of Phoenix at 1:56pm. I was in zone 5 and boarded according to the gate host's instructions. When I arrived on the flight, there was a pregnant mother managing her approximately two-year old daughter in my row, as well as a woman who had taken my seat to accommodate the mother and child. I was informed by the pregnant woman that she had requested an adjustment to her seat to accommodate her child and so I proceeded to the back of the plane to wait for further instructions from the flight attendants. While waiting, I witnessed incredibly poor leadership on behalf of the flight attendant Andrea while searching for the parents of a child who was hiding in one of the rows and the increasing frustration of customers waiting to get to their seats. The flight attendants attempted to communicate with Andrea using the overhead speakers, engaging passengers in a frustrating situation unnecessarily.
When the flight was seated, I asked Andrea where I should sit and she said that she was sorry but only center seats were available at that time. As a consolation, she provided me with a complimentary set of headphones ($2) and an offer for an alcoholic beverage courtesy of the airline ($5). I felt that the offer for an alcoholic beverage was incredibly unprofessional and inappropriate, given that I could have been underage or unable to consume alcoholic beverages. Furthermore, she shoved the headphones into my hand and pushed me to my seat. When I was left to choose the most desirable center seat, she left me alone to communicate my need to sit between already buckled-in customers, to their annoyance as well as mine. When I was situated, uncomfortably as I had originally chosen an aisle seat, my comfort was ignored for the duration of the flight.
When the flight landed, I had to wait until the plane deboarded in order to retrieve my baggage from an overhead bin at the back of the plane. The flight attendants were saying goodbye to the passengers or milling about at the back of the plane, making it very difficult for me to access the bag. There were two families, unsupervised by the flight staff, allowing their children to run around while I attempted to exit the plane. I deboarded after 30 minutes of post-landing waiting.
I proceeded to my second leg's gate where I attempted to call the Delta customer service number. I was told by the gentleman on the line that he was unable to take complaints over the phone and that I would have to e-mail. As a passenger on a flight in an airport, I found it an unreasonable suggestion. I proceeded to the booking phones at the end of the hallway and spoke to a woman who told me the best thing to do was to call the number I called previously. I called the 1-800 number again and was given the long distance number by a gentleman named Shane. I called and was told that the office was closed. I asked at my gate if the gate host could provide me with any help or information about who to call, and she was unable to help me beyond printing out a mailing address. She was also flustered and was more interested in helping first class and business class passengers tend to their needs than helping me with my issue.
Recently, the news reported (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/
I would think that it would be in Delta's best interest to address these issues with consistency and fairness. If a thin person is consoled financially for their discomfort and annoyance because of a fat person, shouldn't any person be awarded a similar token of gratitude for being flexible and generous for a passenger who has clearly violated stated or implied policies/laws for airline travel? I should think it the least you can do.
I look forward to your response. I do feel that the headphones I received, and the offer for an alcoholic beverage, were a price too small to pay for my patience in this matter. Couple that with severely lacking customer service in one of your major hubs and on your toll free phone number, I would say that Delta has a great deal of work to do in order to be considered a great contributor to fantastic airline service.
*real name redacted for privacy purposes. Heehee.
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